Home > Uncategorized > In the “News We Don’t Hear in the US” Category: 130 Muslim Malaysian NGOs Stand Up for Christian Houses of Worship

In the “News We Don’t Hear in the US” Category: 130 Muslim Malaysian NGOs Stand Up for Christian Houses of Worship

Over 130 Muslim non-governmental organizations in Malaysia have offered to serve as “eyes and ears” to safeguard Christian churches from attacks. Through the initiative, 60 volunteers have stepped forward to help the authorities to monitor security at houses of worship in the Klang Valley.

PPIM executive secretary Datuk Nadzim Johan, who represented the NGOs, said this was a proactive step on their part in the wake of the violent incidents carried out against churches.

“We will be the eyes and ears of the police and the government and will inform them of any news and rumors. It is part of our outreach program to be united as Malaysians,” he said at a press conference.

He said the NGOs would initiate talks with non-Muslims groups on the use of the word “Allah” adding, “We want to hold closed door meetings with them so that we can discuss about it.”

Rela Selangor director Khairi Alwee said the organization, with its 70,000 members in Selangor and one million members nationwide, was ready to help police to step up security at churches or other places that might be under threat.

“We seek the public’s cooperation to inform us of anything suspicious at churches.”

I hope this effort is more productive than the Cabinet-established one. The Cabinet agreed recently to form an inter-faith committee to foster religious understanding and harmony, damaged in the past few months by religious differences such as the controversial “Allah” ruling.

It had earlier this year appointed Datuk Ilani Isahak to chair the committee and green-lighted five sub-committees to draw up proposals on how best to deal with the inter-religious conflicts. The sub-committees will be jointly-chaired by a Muslim and a non-Muslim, and include five religious representatives from both communities.

However, the Malaysian Consultative Council on Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism (MCCBCHST) will boycott the Cabinet-endorsed inter-faith committee, unless the deputy prime minister provides an explanation for his “small-fry” remark today.

Earlier today Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin had said the inter-faith committee set up by the Cabinet consisted only of “small-fry,” in a bid to calm fears expressed by right-wing Malay groups that it would threaten the sanctity of Islam.

The lack of any legal powers in the committee, said Muhyiddin, means it will not have any influence over the nation’s official religion.

However, non-Muslim groups have taken offense at the DPM’s remarks and are now threatening a boycott of the panel.

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